Google Seeks Turlock Volunteers

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Google’s Project Loon, the company’s attempt to provide Internet service via high-altitude balloons, is looking for volunteers in Turlock to test the effectiveness of the system.

Google is asking volunteers to attach a Loon Internet antenna (capped with a red balloon) to their house or building to help the internet giant measure the strength of the signal delivered from balloons. The Central Valley test phase is scheduled to last from the end of this month until the end of the year.

The idea of Project Loon is to employ high-altitude balloon to deliver Internet access to people who live in rural areas. The Central Valley and Sierra foothills have some of the lowest percentages of people with Internet access in the nation, especially high-speed Internet. In addition, the balloon could be used to provide Internet in times of disaster.

The balloons are solar powered and travel high in the stratosphere to avoid air traffic. Numerous balloons are placed in a geographical area and the Wi-Fi signal bounces from balloon to balloon to create a network for users on the ground.

Google says it could deliver 3G or better speeds during its initial testing phase in New Zealand earlier this summer.

Volunteer opportunities are also available in Madera, Chowchilla, Mariposa and Merced.

For more information on how to volunteer visit https://plus.google.com/+ProjectLoon.

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